LeBron James and Tom Brady look for inspiration from a 100 old speech behind the scenes as they continue to strive for greatness in their 19th and 22nd season respectively.
For the last two decades, Tom Brady has been a dominant force in the NFL and in broader culture. No other athlete in recent memory (maybe LeBron James) has been scrutinized, analyzed and debated more than Brady. “Man in the Arena”, Tom Brady’s documentary is an examination of the impact he made on and off the field.
From his years with the legendary coach Bill Belichick in New England to his new team in Tampa Bay, the series aims to cover aspects of Brady’s life we’re often left speculating about. From rivalries to friendships, touchdowns to interceptions, from the Draft to the Super Bowl, it’s a great way to enter the blockbuster life that is TB12.
Tom Brady explains the meaning behind ‘Man in the Arena’
According to the seven-time Super Bowl winner, the title is a call back to his college days. Before entering the NFL, Tom Brady caught the eyes of many scouts with his play for Michigan State. Brady recounted ;
We had different working titles for it, and I always thought [Man in the Arena] was a really cool name for a show. That was a Theodore Roosevelt quote, and that was in the weight room at Michigan when I first got there. And I saw it every day. I always thought, ‘Wow, in so many ways you become that man in the arena. There’s always the eyes focused on you as a player, and all these microsecond decisions you’re trying to make and it takes a lot to be put in that position, to deal with a lot of intense scrutiny over a period of time. I thought it fit very perfectly with what the purpose of this project was really supposed to be about.
LeBron James wears kicks with quote “Man in the Arena” on them
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) March 2, 2018
LeBron James has been one of the most outspoken players in the NBA. He is never shy about speaking on social issues his country is facing and continues to speak about what he believes in in order to raise awareness with his social media presence. Sometimes, he even does this with messages on his shoes.
A late adopter of the scribble trend, LeBron likes to make the most of his shoes, packing in more names and hashtags than anyone else in the league. Some of the hashtags LeBron uses are: Bronny, Bryce, Zhuri, Mama James, Queen James, #JamesGang, #SFG, #Fab5, #4HM, #RWTW, Man In The Arena.
#SFG is James’ “strive for greatness” motto, while some others like #4HM nod back to his high school lineup. Lastly there’s ”Man in The Arena”. It refers to the former president Theodore Roosevelt’s iconic speech that was delivered in 1910. James looked to the speech for inspiration.
James especially embraced the quote mainly after facing intense scrutiny for his infamous “decision” to sign with the Miami Heat. The speech talks about giving credit to someone who continues to work hard to improve himself and it helped James overcome a rather tumultuous period in his career.